Reputation Management and Your Career Success

If you expect to be a top contender for new career opportunities–new job, career change possibilities, and Top Contender Competitor Arrow Rising Best Player Challengermore–you must (not just should) pay attention to your reputation online. It’s a fact that what you don’t know can hurt you. If you don’t stay aware of what’s being said about you in cyberspace, you’re risking a possibly nasty surprise.

Googling Yourself is Highly Recommended

A recent post by Joshua Waldman, of Career Enlightenment, titled “You WILL Get Googled…Are You Afraid?“, makes it clear that you can’t afford to ignore the larger online universe in your job search. You do so at your own peril. (I might add that you shouldn’t be ignoring it at other times either! It’s not a once-and-done situation.)

As Waldman indicated in his post, “The latest survey said that 81% of employers WILL Google candidates.” I should note that his post was originally published 6+ years ago, but its message rings as true today as it did then.

At one point Waldman found that his name came up as a convicted criminal and a gynecologist! After some diligent work on his part, he elevated his LinkedIn profile to first-page ranking on Google.

Out of curiosity, I Googled my name, which I hadn’t done in a while, and found that I came up as #1 and #2 in the first 9 listings: the first was my resume website, www.ablueribbonresume.com; the second was my LinkedIn profile; and #8 was an article I wrote that was published on BlueSteps.com. In between were entries for an Australian actress and an executive director at a university. At least there weren’t any criminals!

Note: If I’d Googled myself last summer and fall–during and right after our cross-country move–I suspect I might not have shown up anywhere in Google’s first page. I wasn’t doing anything special to help achieve that.

Career Damaging Info & What to Do about It

Start by setting up a system to Google your name regularly–I’d say at least once a month, maybe even more often than that. Waldman also suggested using Pipl.com to search for your name and stated that if the results from those two searches aren’t encouraging, you need to take steps to make yourself visible online in as favorable a light (and as often) as possible.

If the information that comes up is negative in some way–such as Waldman’s convicted criminal listing–you really need to do something, rather than just let it go and hope for the best.

What seems to have been helpful to me in moving my listing up on Google’s first page includes:

  • Revamping my website and moving my blog to the site, so that it registers new activity at least a couple of times a week;
  • Refreshing my LinkedIn profile periodically, including publishing my blog posts to LinkedIn and being at least moderately active in posting comments, etc., in some of my LinkedIn groups;
  • Writing and publishing articles in a variety of places, including as a guest blogger on BlueSteps.com.

Could I do more? Undoubtedly, and I probably should (and will) as soon as I figure out how to carve the time out in my schedule! What could you do to elevate your listing? Probably a lot. And if you’re not doing much, if anything, right now, I’d say it’s high time you got busy!

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